A new look for improving the life chances of children who offend

A paper that could help improve the life chances of children and young people who are involved in offending behaviour has been given a new look for 2020.

‘Improving the life chances of children who offend: A summary of common factors’ aims to support all practitioners, managers and policy makers involved in improving the life chances of children. To ensure the information is shared in a compelling and accessible way, infographics have now been added to illustrate each of the paper’s six key themes.

The paper, which was first published in October 2019, was produced by the Improving Life Chances Implementation Group on behalf of the Youth Justice Improvement Board, which was responsible for supporting the Scottish Government’s 2015-2020 youth justice strategy Preventing Offending: Getting it right for children and young people.

The group focused on six key themes, on which the paper is based:

  1. School inclusion
  2. Strengthening relationships and engagement
  3. Victims and community confidence
  4. Improving health and wellbeing
  5. Opportunities for all
  6. Transitions

Gill Robinson, Chair of the Improving Life Chances Implementation Group and Professional Advisor, Scottish Prison Service, explained:

“When reflecting on their practice with young people and on the findings from research, members of the group realised that particular factors consistently came through as being associated with improved outcomes for children and young people. The group wanted to share these factors as widely and straightforwardly as possible. I hope that readers will find this new edition useful and engaging and that children and young people will benefit as a result.”

Fiona Dyer, Deputy Director and Practice Development Lead at CYCJ, said:

“At CYCJ, we have been moving towards making our resources and reports more accessible to a wide range of audiences – especially younger readers, whose life choices and outcomes they will impact on. These illustrations will hopefully help people to better understand the key messages and recommendations made in this paper – and that you’ll agree they look fantastic!”

Drawing on the experiences of members of the Implementation Group and subgroups, research and feedback from policy and practice, the paper details key factors emerging from the above themes that can contribute to improved life chances and outcomes for children involved in/at risk of involvement in offending behaviour.

Suggested purposes include to share information and stimulate discussion; inform continuous professional development; a basis for training; provision of a reference point to help provide confidence in your own practice; and supporting services to reflect on and evaluate how they are, or could be, contributing to improved life chances.

To discuss the content of the paper and any issues arising from this, please contact pamela.i.morrison@strath.ac.uk.

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